In a bid to increase production, the government on Thursday increased the minimum support price (MSP) for rabi pulses — gram and masoor — by more than 10% for the 2015-16 season in comparison to the previous year. The cabinet also raised MSP for wheat by a moderate 5%.
The MSP for gram has been revised to Rs 3,500 per quintal for the 2015-16 season from Rs 3175 per quintal offered to farmers in the previous years. Similarly, the MSP of masoor dal or lentil has been revised to Rs 3,400 per quintal from Rs 3,075 per quintal last year. This hike in MSP of pulses includes Rs 75 per quintal as additional bonus approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA).
The MSP of wheat has been raised by 5% to Rs 1,450 per quintal for the 2015-16 rabi season from the previous year. Similarly the MSP for barley has been revised from Rs 1,150 to Rs 1,225 per quintal for the ongoing rabi sowing season.
“The CCEA has approved the increase in MSP for rabi crops of 2015-16 season to be marketed in 2016-17,” Piyush Goyal, power minister, said after the meeting.
Goyal said the MSP of six rabi crops — wheat, barley, gram, masoor, rapeseed-mustard seed and safflower seed —has been increased as per the recommendation of the Commission for Agriculture Costs and Prices (CACP), which is an advisory body under the agriculture ministry.
The announcement of MSP for rabi crops comes at a time when sowing has been commenced. Till the end of last month, sowing of rabi crops have been completed in 5.84 million hectares, which is over 9% of the total rabi acreage of 62.4 million hectares.
Wheat has been sown in 1.2 lakh hectares, pulses in 2 million hectares, coarse cereals in 2.7 million hectares, oilseeds in 9.43 lakh hectares and rice in only 0.02 lakh hectare so far. The latest sowing data would be released
The sowing of rabi crops usually begins in October and harvesting starts from April onwards. MSP is the price at which the government would buy wheat, pulses and oilseeds from farmers.
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